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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog archive

Wednesday, 28 November 2029

Last Minute Changes / News

"Rule of 6" club walks have restarted.

(Not before... ) Mon, 17-May : normal club walks resume

Friday, 8 August 2025

Annual Events

Jan

Canary Wharf Light Festival

Feb

Snowdrops: SWC 353 - Knebworth Circular

Mar

Wood anemones: Book 1, Walk 15: Leigh to Tunbridge Wells;  Short 43: Lesnes Abbey Woods

Apr

 Azaleas: 1-18: Sunningdale to Windsor - in Saville Gardens (Windsor): also Isabella Plantation (Richmond Park)

May

Bluebells : Late April-early May: 2 - 5ab: Tring to Berkhamsted via Dockey Wood and Flat Isley;  1 - 9: Shiplake to Henley via High Wood and Greys Court;  2 - 13e: Guildford to Boxhill; 1- 47: Ockley to Warnham.......and many more (see our Nature Blog)

Early May: for late bluebells plus rhododendrons and azaleas: 1-42: Holmwood to Gomshall via Leith Hill Rhododendron Wood

Ashwell at Home - for open gardens - Baldock Circular (SWC 91) - usually the 2nd Sunday in May (cancelled for 2021)

Cow Parsley:  SWC 91- Baldock Circular ;  1-8: Bures to Sudbury 

Jun

Apple Blossom: 1-28: Chilham to Canterbury;  SWC 299 - Teynham to Faversham;  1-36: Borough Green to Sevenoaks

Buttercups: 1-8: Bures to Sudbury;  SWC 190 - Thame Circular

Oxeye daisies: 1-10: Beaconsfield Circular 

Leigh on Sea folk festival ~ late Jun

Poppies: 2-22: Amberley to Arundel

Jul

Sandwich folk festival ~ 4 & 5 July

Lavender: Late July - Short 23 - Banstead to Woodmansterne; 1-36: Borough Green to Sevenoaks ; also in Letchworth Garden City

Aug

Pride Parade in Brighton: ~ 1st Sat in Aug

Heather: 1-27: Milford to Haslemere

Sep Heather - and berries, fruits and nuts.
Start of fungi (mushrooms) in woods

Oct

Deer Rut - Bushy Park, Richmond Park

Sussex Bonfires - Oct and Nov.

Late October - early November: autumn leaf colour: SWC 140 - Wendover Circular via the Lee and Swan Bottom;  1-45: Princes Risborough to Great Missenden; 1-47: Ockley to Warnham

Nov

Brokham Bonfire, Lewes Bonfire, many "smaller" ones in Sussex

Dec  Christmas Fair: 1-7: Garston to St Albans 
Note:

For a more comprehensive list of SWC walks with flowers, particularly our bluebell walks, please see the Nature Pages / Where to Find Wild Flowers

Saturday, 7 August 2021

Brighton Pride Parade and walk to Newhaven

The parade starts from i360 tower on the sea front at 11am. A good place to watch would be the sea side of the seafront parade route, opposite the holiday inn on little preston street. So a train to arrive in brighton about 1015, or a little earlier as might be crowded. It has a fun atmosphere, lots of rainbow clothing. Watch the parade go by, about an hour, then walk along the coast. Lunch in Wethies overlooking the marina (or if you can wait, Rottingdean has a seafront pub with outside tables overlooking the sea). Then follow the coast path to Newhaven. Confirmed as of 30-Mar. There were some winter rock falls on the under cliff path, but they should be fixed by summer. l=swc.213

Saturday, 22 May 2021

Scotland: Roybridge

Due to current advice from the Government and BMC to stay home (and off mountains), the trip to Roybridge planned for 16 May to 23 May 2020 has been postponed to 22-29 May 2021. The trip will go ahead as originally planned at that time.
For more information on the area, see Roybridge information. For more information about the trip and to check availability, please contact goepfertkarenATyahooDOTcom.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Wednesday Walk Holmwood to Gomshall - Farewell to Bluebells and Hello Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Book 1, Walk 42 - Holmwood to Gomshall

Length: 16.7 km (10.4 miles)  or long walks of 17 miles or 19 miles
Toughness: 6 out of 10

London Victoria:  10-25 hrs   Southern service to Horsham    CJ  10-32 hrs   Sutton  10-54 hrs
Arrive Holmwood:  11-29 hrs

Return

Gomshall to Waterloo via Guildford:  16-26, 17-24 and 18-24 hrs
Gomshall to Victoria via Dorking Deepdene: 15-31, 16-28 and 17-28 hrs

Rail ticket: Try a day return to Gomshall Any Route Permitted (the latter is essential for both return routes)
Technically, you should also purchase a single for the one stop from Dorking to Holmwood - but I have never been asked for this on the many occasions I have been on this walk.


Covid-19 Compliance: the mantra is now: "Hands-Face-Space-Fresh Air". We will get plenty of the last, regardless, but the other three will be down to all of us observing social distancing and following the current guidance for walkers. The majority of SWC Walk Posters believe the "Rule of Six" still applies to SWC walks - at least until 16 May. Please all come prepared to exchange contact details for track and trace purposes. If you prefer to pre-register for this walk (not essential - but it facilitates the collection of contact details) please e-mail me at swc-marcus@walkingclub.org.uk   Thank you.  


Today I recommend we take the route via Leith Hill Rhododendron Wood to enjoy the colourful azaleas and rhodos which should just be in flower. Before that we head for Leith Hill through  farmland, pastures and woodland, where we say goodbye to this years bluebells. On top of Leith Hill, its tower should be open for elevenses before we head for Leith Hill Wood. Then its onwards through mostly woodland to the hamlet of Friday Street, where its pub, the Stephan Langton Inn, remains closed and up for sale. The pond nearby makes for a good picnic stop.  40 mins beyond Friday Street you come to the village of Wotton, where its pub, the Wotton Hatch, is not planning to reopen until mid-May. 

After your picnic stop, whether it be in Friday Street or Wotton, the walk continues through more woods and classic Surrey Heathland to Gomshall.  Trains are infrequent so if you have time on your hands before the next service, try one of the local pubs in the village which might just be open for outdoor service. 

If on arrival in Gomshall you are still feeling frisky, you have the option of continuing the walk to Guildford, either via the Book 1 walk Gomshall to Guildford, to give you an overall long walk today of 19 miles, or reversing the Book 2 walk, Guildford to Gomshall, for an overall walk of 17 miles.
T=1.42

Walk Directions are here: L=1.42


Monday, 3 May 2021

May Day Bank Holiday Walk - Billingshurst to Amberley - the South Downs

SWC 8 - Billingshurst to Amberley

Length: 22.8 km. (14.2 miles)
Toughness:  6 out of 10    One stiff climb up onto the South Downs.  Remainder of walk: 3 out of 10

(Note: different to usual departure station)

London Bridge:  09-36 hrs  Southern service to Bognor & Southampton Central   East Croydon 09-53 hrs
Arrive Billingshurst: 10-44 hrs

Return

Amberley to London Bridge: 17 mins past the hour

Rail ticket:  buy a day return to Amberley


Covid-19 Compliance: the mantra is now: "Hands-Face-Space-Fresh Air". We will get plenty of the last, regardless, but the other three will be down to all of us observing social distancing and following the current guidance for walkers. The majority of SWC Walk Posters believe the "Rule of Six" still applies to SWC walks - at least until 16 May. Please all come prepared to exchange contact details for track and trace purposes. If you prefer to pre-register for this walk (not essential - but it facilitates the collection of contact details) please e-mail me at swc-marcus@walkingclub.org.uk   Thank you.  

 
This long(ish) walk is a bit of a tease.  For much of the walk you have the escarpment of the Downs ahead of you - knowing you have to climb up onto its top - but the darn thing never seems to get any nearer !  A similar syndrome to Windsor Castle at the end of the Long Walk on our Sunningdale to Windsor walk.....

But today's walk has lots of variety and at this time of year it is particularly enjoyable. Just after the start you walk through a large bluebell wood, for today's fix of the little blighters. Then it's over varied countryside and through a vineyard to the small village of Nutbourne, where you should find somewhere to stop for your picnic. (Unfortunately, the excellent Rising Sun pub in the village is not planning to reopen until mid-May). For those desperate for a pub lunch - and subject to website updates - you can divert from Nutbourne (onto SWC 9 - Pulborough to Amberley walk ) and try your luck at the White Horse pub Marehill, after which you should do the afternoon leg of Walk SWC 9), or having dodged the gliders in Parham airfield (see below) you can take a short diversion to The Crown Inn, Storrington. 

For non-pub goers, after your picnic in Nutbourne you experience the "tease" of the South Downs escarpment ahead of you. Before you reach it you have to skirt around a golf course and then negotiate a private flying club - Parham airfield - watch out for gliders and their tug just above you - then you have a long stretch of quiet lane walking to the base of the Downs. The climb up to the top is tough but fortunately not too long. Having regained your breath once on top, you enjoy a stretch of South Down ridge walking, with panoramic views all around. You can also walk within the Springhead Estate access land, which is much softer on the feet than the stoney South Downs Way. You eventually drop down to a farm and then follow a woodland path down to a road above Amberley. If you wish you can take the route into Amberley Village, where you might be lucky and find somewhere open for an outdoors tea, but today's main route has you descending High Titten (road) to join a pavement beside a main road for the short distance to Amberley railway station. Next to the station is the Bridge Inn, which closes at 4 pm today and probably before your arrival. The outdoors Riverside Tea Rooms nearby might be open still, but best bring plenty of liquid with you today for your post walk drink. 
Enjoy !
T=swc.8

Walk Directions are here:  L=swc.8

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Welwyn Circular

SWC Walk 69 – Welwyn Circular
Length: 18.3km (11.4 miles); Toughness 2/10.
Catch the 10:27 train from London Kings Cross to Welwyn Garden City, arriving 10:55.
Return trains xx:22 xx:52

For track and trace purposes please visit London Walker User Group, sign on, click on the Events button, choose your walk and click on the Pre-register button, confirm you're covid clear. T=swc.69

Friday, 30 April 2021

Friday Walk Tring to Berkhamsted via Dockey Wood and Flat Isley - for a bluebell fest


Book 2, Walk 5c - Tring to Berkhamsted

Length: 21.3 km (13.2 miles) or 11 miles if finishing walk back at Tring
Toughness:  4 out of 10


London Euston: 10-24 hrs   West Midlands service to Northampton 
Arrive Tring: 10-58 hrs

Return: Tring to Euston: 15-56, 16-18, 16-27 and 16-57 hrs

Berkhamsted to Euston:  17-02, 17-23, 17-32, 17-48, 18-05, 18-25 and 18-30 hrs

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Tring


Covid-19 Compliance: the mantra is now: "Hands-Face-Space-Fresh Air". We will get plenty of the last, regardless, but the other three will be down to all of us observing social distancing and following the current guidance for walkers. The majority of SWC Walk Posters believe the "Rule of Six" still applies to SWC walks - at least until 16 May. Please all come prepared to exchange contact details for track and trace purposes.   If you prefer to pre-register for this walk (not essential - but it facilitates the collection of contact details) please e-mail me at swc-marcus@walkingclub.org.uk   Thank you.  

This walk is arguably the best bluebell walk in the SWC repertoire, so why post it on a Friday and not Saturday, you may well ask ? Answer:  1. it's not my turn to post this Saturday. 2. North-East London Ramblers will be on an Ivinghoe Beacon walk on the Saturday, probably following our Book 2 directions, and 3. this Saturday, Dockey Wood will be chocker with visitors - so it should be more relaxing to admire this bluebell wood the day before. 

Leaving Tring railway station the walk goes through woodland before following grassy meadows uphill to Ivinghoe Beacon. On then to and through Ward's Hurst  Farm and you arrive at Dockey Wood, one of the best bluebell woods in Southern England. You may have to pay a fee ( between £ 3 and £ 5 ) to access the wood today - but the fee is well worth it. Leaving the wood you walk beside the road into the hamlet of Ringshall, before following a pleasant route through light woodland to the village of Little Gaddesden where we stop for a  lunchtime picnic. Alas, the village pub, the Bridgewater Arms, is not planning to reopen until mid-May.

After our picnic lunch we re-enter the Aldbury Estate to soon walk through Flat Isley, a large expanse of bluebells. Onwards then to the Bridgewater Memorial and the visitor centre (an early tea option) to start the walk extension to Berkhamsted. The initial part of the extension takes you through more bluebell woods, to satiate your bluebell fix for the day. For those finishing their walk in Tring, there are two good pubs in Aldbury for post walk refreshments. Those carrying on the walk into Berkhamsted, the recommendation is you walk past the railway station to walk along the canal tow path to one of two excellent canal-side pubs for your post walk refreshments.
T=2.5

Walk Directions are here: L=2.5 

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Bluebells in the Evening (V) - Oxleas Wood and Shooter's Hill (via Severndroog Castle)

COVID 19
Track-and-Trace: please provide email address or mobile phone number at the start
Rule of Six: from start to finish please, and up to May 16 including 
 
Through ancient woodlands up to Shooter's Hill with far views across the Southeast, on to Severndroog Castle Folly  
 
Length: 6.3 km, Ascent/Descent: 124m
Net Walking Time: ca. 1 ½ hours, Toughness: 1 out of 10.

Take the 18.15 Southeastern service from Cannon Street (London Bridge 18.21, then via Lewisham and Blackheath), arriving Falconwood 18.46. 
From Victoria take the 18.04 Dartford train via Denmark Hill, Peckham Rye and Nunhead, arriving Falconwood at 18.38. 
Return trains: xx.11 and xx.41 to Charing Cross, 20.28 to Cannon Street and xx.18 and xx.48 to Victoria (chg at Lewisham for London Bridge). Falconwood is in Zone 4.
 
This is an undulating route in the Royal Borough of Greenwich through several mostly ancient woodlands with a rich variety of plants and trees, up the southerly flank of Shooter’s Hill, past a large south facing meadow with far views across South East London (and a café) and on through more woods past remnants of a stately home’s gardens to the architecturally interesting folly of Severndroog Castle, with its tearoom.
The descent back to the station passes another terraced garden and drops along Oxleas Meadows to cross over into Shepherdleas Woods for the return to Falconwood station. 
 
Tea: The Falcon A Harvester pub right by the station. 
 
For walk directions, map, photos, height profile and gpx/kml files click here. T=short.44

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Wednesday walk Shiplake Circular walk - bluebells, Greys Court and a walk beside the River Thames

Book 1, Walk 9 - Shiplake Circular (or Shiplake to Henley)

Length: 18.2 km (11.3 miles) or 9.1 miles if finishing in Henley, or with shortcut from Rotherfield Greys  - 6.6 miles
Toughness:  4 out of 10


London Paddington:  10-27 hrs   GWR service to Didcot Parkway   Ealing Broadway 10-35 hrs
Arrive Twyford: 11-07 hrs  Change trains
Leave Twyford: 11-12 hrs  GWR service to Henley-on-Thames
Arrive Shiplake: 11-19 hrs

Return:   Henley-on-Thames to Paddington, changing at Twyford:  15-57, 16-27, 16-59, 17-36 and 18-07 hrs

Shiplake: 4 minutes after trains leave Henley

Rail ticket: a day-return to Henley-on-Thames offers best flexibility for your return journey


Covid-19 Compliance: the mantra is now: "Hands-Face-Space-Fresh Air". We will get plenty of the last, regardless, but the other three will be down to all of us observing social distancing and following the current guidance for walkers. The majority of SWC Walk Posters believe the "Rule of Six" still applies to SWC walks - at least until 16 May. Please all come prepared to exchange contact details for track and trace purpose.  If you prefer to pre-register for this walk (not essential - but it facilitates the collection of contact details) please e-mail me at swc-marcus@walkingclub.org.uk   Thank you.  


This is one of my favourite bluebell walks, and today I suggest we take the High Wood route in the morning to take advantage of the bluebells in this wood.  Onwards then to Binfield Heath, for an early lunch option at the Bottle & Glass pub, with its attractive, large pub garden. The route continues through Crowsley Park and then through a large stud farm before a short road section takes you into the pretty village of Rotherfield Greys for lunch at the usually excellent Maltsters Arms, with its outdoor dining areas.

Post prandial, you can continue with the main walk to Greys Court, with its magnificent bluebell paddock, or you can take a shortcut - a pleasant valley route back to Henley. Those on the main walk have to negotiate Lambridge Wood, where it is easy to wander off piste, so please take care when following the directions. After the wood you cross a golf course and then walk downhill beside George Harrison's grandiose property and on into the town of Henley. You can complete your walk here if you wish, first taking refreshments in the town at many takeaway options on offer, although the suggestion today is to continue the walk back to Shiplake, walking mostly beside the River Thames, then latterly inland, to  come to Shiplake railway station. Almost next door to the station is the Baskerville pub, which should be open for refreshments.  
T=1.9

Walk Directions are here: L=1.9

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Bluebells in the Evening (IV) - Highgate Wood and Queen's Wood (East Finchley to Highgate)

COVID 19
Track-and-Trace: please provide email address or mobile phone number at the start
Rule of Six: from start to finish please, and up to May 16
 
 

Meandering route through two adjacent ancient woods with very different character. Undulating.

 
Length: 5.5 km/3.4 mi with 144m ascent
Net Walking Time: ca. 1 hours 20 mins, Toughness: 1 out of 10. 
 
Meet at 18.30 hours on the platform at East Finchley Station on the High Barnet Branch of the Northern Line. Journey time from Bank is 24 minutes. 
Highgate is one stop closer to Central London. Both stations are in Zone 3. 
 
This is an undulating meandering route in the Borough of Haringey through a couple of remnants of the ancient Forest of Middlesex, in one of the highest parts of Inner North London. 
Both woods are very different in character and feel: Highgate Wood is only part ancient wood and has been managed for a long time, with several areas having been coppiced and others having been cleared, and it mostly has the appearance of a parkland wood. Queen’s Wood has a wilder, less managed and more challenging feel and consequently features a greater mixture of flora and fauna. 
And while Highgate Wood is famous for its bluebell displays in season, these are largely confined to thenortheasterly corner of the wood. In contrast, Queen’s Wood displays a fine mixture of wildflowers in season, amongst which are bluebells, wood anenomes and daffodils.
Both woods feature ancient possibly pre-historic – earthworks and they also boast cafés for refreshments.
 
Walk Options:
A Short Walk of 3.7 km and with half the ascent – omits the more undulating Queen’s Wood. 
An Extension leads to Finsbury Park along the Parkland Walk, part of a dismantled railway line and now a very charming linear and raised Local Nature Reserve. This adds 3.5 km and is map-led.
 
Tea: See the pdf. The cafés are likely to be closed at that time, but The Woodman will certainly be open. 
 
For walk directions, map, photos, height profile and gpx/kml files click here. T=short.49